HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Are you making a specialty food?
TELL US

NY experience for $30 a person?

f
foggybottom123 Nov 19, 2008 01:15 PM

We have family from Maine coming into town and we'd like to go out to dinner on Saturday night. Budget should be around $30 a person. They'd like a NY experience. Any suggestions?

  1. j
    JeremyEG Nov 19, 2008 05:09 PM

    Hey there,
    What kind of food were you thinking? Also, does the $30 include tax and tip? How about drinks?
    JeremyEG

    1. u
      UES Mayor Nov 20, 2008 04:21 AM

      Carmines in Times Sq!!!!!! they take reservation for 6 or more only

      1 Reply
      1. re: UES Mayor
        u
        UWStoSONO Nov 21, 2008 01:51 PM

        Don't go to Carmines and for a NY experience, stay away from Times Square. Try Aurora in SoHo or Nonna on the UWS. Drinks and apps at the bar at Zeytin. Love that place...everytime.

      2. e
        ESNY Nov 20, 2008 05:47 AM

        Go to chinatown

        1. j
          jon462 Nov 20, 2008 08:28 AM

          carmines has to be the worst italian place to eat in ny, go elsewhere

          1. Bob Martinez Nov 20, 2008 10:33 AM

            It seems that most tourists wind up staying around Times Square. If that's the case, enjoy the lights and the crowds but for God's sake don't eat there. It's filled with chain restaurants or restaurants that might as well be chains. You didn't come hundreds of miles for that.

            There are dozens of places that would fit your needs but I'll just give you three. (And I'm going to give you subway directions from Times Square. Taking the train is definitely part of the New York experience as well. Don't worry - it's very safe.)

            Katz's Deli
            205 E. Houston St.

            $15 buys you the best (and largest) pastrami sandwich in New York. Loads of atmosphere too. Here's a recent thread with all the info you need to know.
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/507775

            Short and sweet - don't use the waiter service - go to the counter, tip the carver a few bucks, have fries or a knish if you must but the pastrami is king, cash only. (Yes, there's an arcane way of paying with a credit card but make your life simple and bring cash.

            )

            Subway -
            Take the F or the V train from 42nd St. and 6th Ave. Get off at the 2nd Ave. stop (about a 15 minute ride) at the front of the train and walk 2 blocks down Houston St.

            Map - http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=%22katz's+deli%22+%22new+york%22&sll=40.724559,-73.990066&sspn=0.006928,0.013819&ie=UTF8&ll=40.75662,-73.987083&spn=0.110787,0.2211&z=12&iwloc=A

            Walker's
            16 North Moore St.

            An old New York bar with plenty of atmosphere. Very good pub food that meets your price point.

            Menu - http://www.menupages.com/restaurantdetails.asp?areaid=0&restaurantid=4415&neighborhoodid=23&cuisineid=0

            Bonus points - It's right across the street from the Ghostbuster's firehouse.
            http://farewllnyc.blogspot.com/2007/11/ghostbusters-firehouse.html

            And a 10 minute walk from the World Trade Center site.

            Subway -
            Take the number 1 train from 7th Ave. and 42nd St. to Franklin St. The restaurant is right across the street.
            Map -
            http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=walker's+%22new+york%22&sll=40.75662,-73.987083&sspn=0.110787,0.2211&ie=UTF8&ll=40.794058,-73.97644&spn=0.221449,0.4422&z=11&iwloc=A

            Fall back choice -

            Old Town Bar
            45 E. 18th St

            A great old New York saloon with decent food. It's near Union Square park and there's an outdoor Christmas market there worth visiting. The bar is a bit of a scene, especially at peak hours.

            Menu - http://www.menupages.com/restaurantdetails.asp?areaid=0&restaurantid=44416&neighborhoodid=0&cuisineid=0

            Map - http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&h...

            Subway - Take the R train from 7th Ave. and 42nd St. to 14th St.(Union Square.) It's about a 10 minute ride. Get off at the back end of the train and walk north a few blocks.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bob Martinez
              f
              Felixnot Nov 20, 2008 11:42 AM

              I was going to say Katz's on the title of the thread alone! Then you can walk down the street and get a knish at Yonah Schimmel's.

              1. re: Bob Martinez
                r
                RGR Nov 20, 2008 12:20 PM

                There's nothing that arcane about paying with a credit card. You just go to the take-out counter in the back.

                I will also quibble with your pronouncement that the pastrami sandwich is the largest in NY. I think that "prize" actually goes to Carnegie. But the pastrami there sucks!

                1. re: RGR
                  Bob Martinez Nov 21, 2008 05:21 AM

                  "There's nothing that arcane about paying with a credit card. You just go to the take-out counter in the back."

                  Katz's is a confusing place for first timers and it's not particularly obvious that you can pay for a sit down meal at the take out counter. There are separate lines for everything and multiple carver lines. Tourists tend to clog the first line thinking that it's a feeder line. It's not.

                  The area for waiter service isn't particularly well marked either and there are crowds of people milling about everywhere. In short it can be confusing. You've been there 50 or 60 times and it's all obvious to you. To a group of first timers from Maine it might not be and I was trying to simplify things. Paying cash isn't really a hardship. especially if you're warned in advance. More than 90% of the people do it.

                  "I will also quibble with your pronouncement that the pastrami sandwich is the largest in NY. I think that "prize" actually goes to Carnegie."

                  New York is a really big city. I'm perfectly happy to concede that Katz's sandwich may "only" be the 2nd biggest. I was trying to convey the point that having a "sandwich" for dinner in this case is not the type of thing that needs to be supplemented with side dishes. Unless you've actually seen one of these things there's no way to convey their size. Some pictures work best:

                  http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc60/lorenspics/KatzDeli-PastramionRye.jpg

                  http://www.post-gazette.com/images4/2...

                  The side dishes at Katz's are forgettable. Have some pickles and leave it at that.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                    MMRuth Nov 21, 2008 05:24 AM

                    I actually liked the french fries there.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Bob Martinez Nov 21, 2008 05:55 AM

                      I think they're OK. Maybe split an order for a group and then order more if you want them. Those sandwiches are massive and tend to crowd out the side dishes.

                2. re: Bob Martinez
                  f
                  foggybottom123 Nov 21, 2008 03:55 AM

                  Thanks to everyone for their replies!

                3. b
                  bnemes3343 Nov 20, 2008 11:53 AM

                  I would recommend Londel's Supper Club on Frederick Douglas Blvd between 139th and 140th in Harlem. Excellent soul food and I believe they have live entertainment (Jazz/R&B)on Saturday. You should be fine at $30/pp. The most expensive thing on the menu is a $24 steak. A lot of stuff in the low to mid teens. And, yes, Harlem is safe (just ask Bill CLinton) and it would truly be a NY experience. I believe the Bor C will get you there.

                  http://www.londelsrestaurant.com/home...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bnemes3343
                    m
                    melon Nov 21, 2008 10:33 AM

                    And Lenox Lounge for a drink after.

                  2. NYJewboy Nov 21, 2008 04:49 AM

                    Maybe take them to an Indian joint. Try Mugahlai (sp) in the UWS.

                    1. i
                      italianagambino Nov 21, 2008 10:39 AM

                      I would go to Cafe Hababa in Soho

                      Show Hidden Posts